The Bluetones The Bluetones are one of those bands that seem to have been around forever. I remember first seeing them in the 90’s and I have had sporadic dalliances with them ever since. Tonight I am not alone in my admiration for this group of west of London musicians as the Plug in Sheffield is full and bouncing.


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Reef This album is a real, real mixed bag. From the opening track and album title, Revelation, you would be expecting a real rock n roll hyped up ride, indeed the opening track sounds a little like an AC/DC cover. It’s not, but it certainly has strains of the aussie rockers. This is no bad thing, but it belies what else is coming on the album. You see, what follows is a fabulous blend of Rock n Roll, Blues, Southern Country Rock and indeed gospel.


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The Vaccines The Vaccines storm into Sheffield on the back of their 4th studio album ‘Combat Sports’, released just 2 weeks previously. It’s hard to pigeonhole The Vaccines. They’re not your standard indie rock outfit, for a start several songs have a definite 50s influence.


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The Temperance Movement I have only recently started listening to The Temperance Movement and on record (if that’s what we still call it) they sound fabulous. Tonight was going to be my opportunity to check them out live and that opportunity happily coincided with their opening act tonight being one of my favourite Sheffield bands of the moment, Cellar Door Moon Crow.


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The Darkness For me, its always great to go to a Hard Rock gig. The lightshow is usually great, the music is really right up my street, the crowd is generally spot on and the atmosphere amazing. Tonight just imagine all of that times 10 - Why? Well beacuse The Darkness are in town, thats why.


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Skinny Lister Have a look at the Xtra Mile Recordings roster. It is a list of some of the finest acts out there. Diverse, but each one worth your time and money. Two of the best live acts this country has to offer are Xtra Mile artists Skinny Lister and Beans On Toast and they’re currently touring their blistering sets around this sceptred isle.


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Deaf Havana I have to say, at the outset, that up until the week of this gig I have never listened to any output by the main band on this tour. They had been recommended to me by my stepson who is a big fan. So I gave them a listen and, apart from the early more screamy stuff I really quite liked them. So it was with a certain amount of anticipation that myself and said stepson turned up to Leeds Beckett for Deaf Havana.


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Public Service Broadcasting Public Service Broadcasting arrive in Leeds halfway through the UK leg of the tour promoting their third album, Every Valley. Recorded in Ebbw Vale it’s an album specifically about the South Wales mining industry although it can easily be translated to include not only any UK coal field but any industry in the Western World. It’s a chronological album taking us from when coal was king, through the miners’ strike to pit closures and finally onto how a community copes when its lifeline has been taken away.


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Live from Times Square Inner City music events seem to be de-rigeur for a lot of Britain’s cities and the ‘Toon is not one to be left out of a trend! This particular event was interestingly called “Live from Times Square” and although it was not the New York square made famous by New Year, it was certainly busy busy and eager with anticipation for the bands of the evening…. The Old Pink House, Dream Wife, Public Service Broadcasting, The Cribs and headliners the Manic Street Preachers - that and it was sold out and it was Saturday night in Newcastle which, if you don’t know, is always a damn good party.


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The Stanley Clarke Band I have been to the Brudenell Social Club quite a few times now, mostly to indie bands that are either breaking it through or are making a big noise on the “scene”…. So tonight when I drew up towards the club, for it is a club (think workingman's club not Studio 54 - yes really) I thought there must be somebody else on as well as the fabulous Stanley Clarke, after all, who would queue round the block to see an obscure jazz bass player?


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Beautiful Day Out "A Beautiful Day Out" – you couldn’t wish to find a more aptly named gig. Five quality bands on a glorious sunny afternoon in the best outdoor venue I’ve ever witnessed.


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Dropkick Murphys Sometime in the mid-late 80s I entered Rock City for the first time for what I always maintained was the sweatiest gig I’ve ever been to (Georgia Satellites). Admittedly 19 year old me was front and centre and having a good old mosh. The older, more damaged, me was stood at the back for this one yet still ended the gig drenched with sweat. It was a veritable sauna in there. Admittedly one with bodies flying everywhere in a joyous celebration of one of the greatest proponents of Celtic/Punk there has ever been. I rather think the young me would have had a new sweatiest gig. Dropkick Murphys have brought their juggernaut of a live show steaming once again into a sold out Rock City.


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Arcade Fire The headlines were huge, one of the biggest bands in the world were coming to play in Scunthorpe, yes Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire, in England. Arcade Fire hadn’t played in England for nearly 3 years and now they were breaking that drought with a trip to Scunthorpe. Up to this point dear Reader Scunthorpe had really only been known as the butt of many a joke, but on the 7th June 2017 they were hosting one of the biggest bands on the planet. Who would have believed it !


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Black Spiders So where to start with this one. Well the parental advisory message may be both apt and too late but nevertheless anyone of a sensitive disposition should probably look away now. Sometime last year Black Spiders announced they were to be no more. One last gig was planned and that was to be it. The fans clamoured for more and eventually Pete ‘Spider’ Spiby kicked in the door of their collective padded cell and unleashed his Spiders on the UK one last time. An eight date "F*** Off Black Spiders" Final Tour.


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